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NY Jewish leader’s biz partner has ‘Iran tie$’ (NEW YORK POST) By TARA PALMERI and JENNIFER GOULD KEIL 04/09/12)Source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/atom_bombshell_vqcJrl2tH6hdftUtmAwvuO NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
He sure knows how to play both sides.

A Russian bank chief with suspected ties to the funding for the construction of a nuclear-power plant in Iran has just inked a lucrative deal with a top real-estate firm led by a prominent Jewish leader in New York to snap up distressed properties along the East Coast — including in the city, The Post has learned.

The partners are eyeing at least one property in the Financial District and another just over the river in New Jersey.

The odd partnership comes amid tension between Iran and Israel — and by extension, the United States — over Iran’s refining of nuclear fuel.

Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, 47 — who runs Alfa Bank, his nation’s largest private finance house — teamed up with developer Jack Rosen of Rosen Partners in December to invest $1 billion in US real estate from New York to Miami.

It could be a highly profitable agreement for everyone involved, especially Fridman, whose net worth is already $13 billion.

The two are eyeing a condo project at 56 Pine St. in Manhattan and a New Jersey townhouse development, but the deals have yet to be finalized, according to reports.

The Post revealed to Rosen that Fridman has a connection to the construction of Iran’s nuclear- power plant in Bushehr, which went online in September.

Rosen says that he then reached out to Fridman — and that Fridman’s explanation was good enough for him.

“If [Fridman] knew he directly funded a nuclear facility in Iran, I would express my disappointment,” Rosen told The Post. “He told me that Alfa never directly funded nuclear projects.”

Fridman’s Alfa Bank provided financing throughout the 2000s to Atomstroyexport, the state-owned Russian nuclear vendor that installed the reactors at Bushehr, according to reports.

Rosen, who heads the American Jewish Congress and the Council of the World’s Jewry, said Fridman never disclosed the connection to him.

Atomstroyexport receives money from manufacturers and investors and then doles those funds out to nuclear projects in China and Iran.

Many banks, Rosen said, have no idea how the money they lend is used.

Rosen insisted that Fridman told him “he wasn’t aware how their money was used.”

Fridman, a self-made tycoon whose Alfa Group specializes in oil, banking and telecommunications, was ranked No. 57 on Forbes’ billionaires list.

The Sunday Times of London in 2007 called his Alfa Group “one of the most controversial business empires on the planet.” Additional reporting by Chuck Bennett (Copyright 2012 NYP Holdings, Inc. 04/09/12)


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